What do people think of when they hear Nitecore? Some, like myself, think innovative and unique. Others might think reliable and user friendly. But I believe the one thing everyone can agree on is that they make great lights for excellent prices. Nitecore has continued to amaze everyone with their products every year coming out with imaginative lights that even the flashaholics are impressed by.
This time it's Nitecore's MH20 with its 1000 lumens and 220 meters of throw in a 4.13" long body making this light comparable in size to the popular Zebralight SC600 MKII. The MH20 features five levels of brightness along with 3 flashing modes so you're prepared for any situation that arises. With its deep pocket clip, you can just throw it in your pocket anytime and forget that it's even there until it matters most which you'll be glad you had it.
The part that I feel that makes Nitecore innovative is their attention to detail on the User Interface making each and every one of their lights stand out from the crowd. If any of you are familiar with Nitecore's P25, you'll adapt quickly to this light. This light features a single button with a 2-stage press feature which consist of a half-press for certain modes and a full-press(when it clicks) for other modes. A full-press turns the MH20 On & Off while a half-press cycles through the 5 modes. From on, if you full-press and hold you'll get to flashing modes and simply half-press to switch between the 3 modes.
Seems simple enough but what so special, right? This is where we get to why I love Nitecore so much. From Off, hold the half-press and you'll get instant access to ultra-low. Also if you full-press and hold (from off) the MH20 will go straight to Turbo. You can also go from any brightness straight to Turbo when you half-press and hold. Additionally you can combine two separate features to get an additional feature which in this case from off, if you full-press twice but hold down on the second one it'll go straight to Strobe. It's not mentioned in the manual but it'd be good to know for certain situations.
Now you won't have anymore situations where you'll have to play a guessing game of which mode it'll be turning on to hoping you don't blind yourself or the people around you or even waking your wife up in the morning as you try to quietly get ready for work. The MH20 makes every situation more convenient when a flashlight is needed and the fact that it easily tail-stands means it could even be used to light up a room when the power goes out.
I was really worried about the larger head in my pocket but after EDC'ing it for a few days I couldn't really notice a difference wearing it in my jeans. I do think the shortness of it helps a lot vs ~6" lights since you only notice them when sitting down. The clip wasn't the most friendly trying to slip the MH20 into my pockets but I can assure you that I could be shook upside-down and there's no way that light is falling out. I found recessed switch easy to find in the dark to which I attached the clip on the opposite side for further comfort in my hand. The MH20 features a built-in Micro-USB charging port which is very convenient for on-the-go charging but the 18650 battery is sold separately. This light easily suits most everyday tasks and easily tail-stands which you could add a diffuser to act as a lantern. I think this light would be especially great for backpacking/camping because of its compact size.
I did take the MH20 out and compared it to the MH12 and I have to say that I like the MH20 better. Each one of their outputs are fairly similar but the MH20 has the added 410 lumen mode. Because of the quarter inch larger head on the MH20 it did provide a little further throw but it was barely noticeable and even their stats only show a difference 12 meters. Even the hotspot looks more defined on the MH20 vs the MH12. Some would complain about the lack of a tail-switch on the MH20 but I've never found that to be a necessity in my lights which most tail-switch lights have a side switch anyways so this just saves you the hassle of re-adjusting the light in your hand.
MH20 vs MH12 - Button comparison
MH20 vs MH12 - Reflector comparison
The only thing that's preventing the MH20 from having a perfect score would be the lack of a Neutral White tint. Although the hotspot looks like a very pure white tint, the spill still has a Cool-ish White tint to it although it's hardly noticeable and only more noticeable in the lower outputs. To 95% of people this won't be an issue and or even cross their minds. But the tint is a little more noticeable for a flashaholic like myself. With that said, I would easily recommend this light to others and give it an overall rating of 4.5/5.
First, I'd like to thank McFarlie for writing this guest review and for his awesome pictures. Here are all of the images from the article as well as a couple of extras. Second, at $79.95 the Nitecore MH20 is a great value. But if you don't have an extra 18650 you will be very interested in this Nitecore MH20 and 3100mAh Battery starter bundle which is only $89.95. The bundle saves you $9.95 if you were to buy them separately!
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